The best kinds of homes are the ones that feel welcoming and comfortable as soon as you walk through the doors, no matter if you’re kin or just an acquaintance of the people who live there. Our history with Christina and Blair goes way back (they modeled in our V6 cover shoot and shared words of wisdom in V7, and Christina is a Blue Ribbon Vendor!), but I’m certain that anyone and everyone will want to pull up a chair at their dining room table or sit down for a slice of pecan pie in their cozy living room. Everything about their Houston home exudes warmth, hospitality, and intentionality, and we’re so thrilled that they gave us a tour, especially now that their house is decked for the holidays!
Thank you so much to Jen Dillender, another beloved Blue Ribbon Vendor, for these lovely photos!
The couple: Christina Leigh Frederick, 28, and Blair Michael Frederick, 30
Years married: 2 years and 3 months
Where you live: Houston, TX is where we call home, but I also spend time in Tulsa, OK where I maintain an office for Christina Leigh Events
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I love glitter and bows and am the owner of Christina Leigh Events. Blair is an antique hunter who finds new life in fans and guitars, and is a business development manager for GE Oil and Gas. We have two “little girls,” Remi (a petite golden doodle) and Landry (a standard golden doodle), also known as the CLE mascots. We love taking our girls out each weekend and spending time with our families.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Blair would say when he met me in my sorority house in 2006, he knew I was the one (even though he and I both had significant others at the time), but a span of four years eventually led to dinner with friends, and then daily conversations led to marriage.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. Blair purchased our home in 2011, so I was able to assist with decorating from the beginning. We love that our little area of town is growing and that we have a Whole Foods within walking distance. We also have a new taco and pizza place across the street that have become weekly staples in our not-so diets.
What is your approach to decorating your home for the holidays? Each tree/room in our home gets a different theme. We don’t use “traditional” Christmas red and green when it comes to colors–we use decor that complements each space. The 15’ tree in the living room (I squealed when Blair brought it home for me last year!) is gold and brown. There are deer ornaments for Blair, cross ornaments for Jesus, and big bows for me. The tree in my office is decorated with white ornaments from my great-grandmother (a series of nine hand-sculpted ornaments from a French artist) and my Grammy (gold angels and white wedgwood ornaments). I have added a sweet SW shop ornament to the family heirloom tree as well! Our tree in the game room is decorated with mini football helmets from our alma mater, The University of Tulsa, and football ornaments. The tree in the kitchen matches our drapes and has silver and gold decorations to tie it in with our dinner table. This year, Blair brought home a baby tree for our bedroom, and I love the simplistic white and the smell it adds to our special place. Blair would say my approach is glitter. I wouldn’t argue that. :)
What is a favorite holiday tradition your family has created post-wedding? Before our first Christmas together, I had no clue what “did you find the pickle yet” meant. Blair comes from German heritage and it has been a lot of fun to learn about the prized pickle ornament that is always hidden in his parents’ Christmas tree. We added a pickle to our 15’ tree in our living room, but Blair is not allowed to hide it above 6’. Blair’s family also goes to church, eats appetizers, and opens all presents on Christmas Eve. While I was a little confused at first, this has given us Christmas morning to ourselves to create our own traditions. Waffles, the parade, and hanging out with our doodles is the perfect way for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? Blair and I never registered for china. I love to add different napkins and chargers to our great white collection from Pottery Barn to create a formal feel for each dinner we host, but now that we are settling into our style, we have decided to begin collecting MacKenzie-Childs parchment check dishes to act as our china.
Who cooks dinner? We both do. I handle the kitchen and Blair mans the grill. We love fresh grilled chicken and steak with salads and veggies. When I feel brave enough to attempt a baked meal, he washes the lettuce and helps prep the sides.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Since my mom and her mom were such great cooks, I love calling my mom for recipes. My Grammy and I were also both in the Junior League, and her old Tulsa cookbooks full of her notes, as well as my Houston cookbooks, are the perfect places to find great dishes to try and goodies to bake!
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Since Blair worked in international business before we got married, he still called his childhood house his home, as I did with my mom, so neither of us had a ton of things to move in together. For us, building our home was a ground-up task from the beginning. Even though I did move the cowhide rug from the living room into our game room, balancing his cowboy boots with my pearls has made for a fun pairing. I look at the decor in our home much like I looked at designing our wedding–each thing we add has a purpose or meaning, and is fairly neutral so things can change with seasons and holidays.
What most makes your house feel like home? When Blair lived here before we got married, it was really empty, so when we got married, I loved adding things that were “home” to each of us. For me, our magnolia leaf garland in the kitchen reminds me of my Grammy’s huge magnolia tree that I grew up under. Our Mr. and Mrs. chair ties from our wedding now hang above our bed to remind us of that special day. It’s the small things that make a big difference in reminding us of our roots and our marriage.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Blair may have been most excited about the food: steak sliders, chicken, and full ears of grilled corn. When it was time for our grand exit, he made sure our to-go food was in tow. I was so hungry when we arrived at our hotel that I sat down on the bed in my dress and immediately grabbed the bag of food, only to find 10 ears of corn. With no butter or salt, Blair opted to phone in some delivery pizza for our 2 A.M. dinner. Eating on the bed, fully dressed in our wedding attire, was the perfect moment to recap the day.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We definitely splurge on good quality furniture. The first piece of furniture we purchased was our dining room table, follow by our dresser that is large enough for both of us. We save with the little things, like throw pillows in different colors for different seasons and small things for our entry table. HomeGoods, Pottery Barn sales, and a few local stores are favorite sources for accent items.
Is there anything else you think our readers would love to know? Blair often works from home, so for our first anniversary I took the traditional gift of paper and the modern gift of a clock, and turned it into an office. It’s a place just for him that is rich with wood, his elk antlers, and his guitar collection. I did get away with adding a small tree for Christmas, too (no glitter or bows on this one though)!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Blair has the heart of a servant. He is always at my events to help with setup or strike, and to make sure I eat. I serve Blair by making our bed every day. He is often up before me and I could go a full day without making the bed, but I know it’s important to him to have a tidy room.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Since my office is in our home, I have to be really intentional about turning off the light and walking away from my computer and phone at quitting time each day. When Blair gets home, that’s my cue to take time for us. We spend weeknights just the two of us and add in time for extended family on the weekends.
This year, our family is most excited about… some exciting new business ventures we have been working on together–we can’t wait to share soon! Two minds are better than one, and when the other mind is your other half, it makes it twice as great!
What is your favorite part of being married? Being that our dating and engagement was long distance, marriage meant living under one roof. It’s so fun to wake up next to my best friend and spend weekends together instead of on FaceTime.
How do you navigate the holidays with your extended families? With my family in Oklahoma, we make one holiday trip per year to Tulsa, this year being Thanksgiving. With Blair’s family down the road from us, we’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve with them, and eating Christmas lunch with them as well. Family is such a big part of who we are and we adore being around loved ones during such a special time of year!
We’re so grateful to Christina and Blair for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!